Merida’s all-new Time Warp TT time trial bike is finally here, as fast as ever, and now with disc brakes. Already approved by the UCI last summer, the new super aero race bike had been hiding in the wings last season. But while the Merida-sponsored Bahrain Victorious team didn’t have the new bike for 2021’s big end-of-season races against the clock, now it’s had its racing debut back at Paris-Nice earlier this month…
Merida Time Warp TT disc brake time trial bike
We knew it was coming, and speculated back in January what the 4th generation of Merida’s pro-level time trial bike would bring. Unsurprisingly, clean integration, disc brakes, and bigger tires are some of the key upgrades of the new Time Warp TT. It had been since 2018 that the rim brake time trail bike last received a sleek aero update.
But while the new TT bike does inherit some similar aero shaping & detailing from the recent Reacto & Scultura Team road bikes, curiously it doesn’t seem to get the aero disc cooler shrouds, at least not on the pro bikes.
Merida describes the new Time Warp TT as a refinement of their already “race-proven aerodynamics of the previous generation” Time Warp, not mentioning any concrete aerodynamic performance benchmarks. But clearly, a lot has changed on the new bike.
Most obvious is the move to disc brakes. But the rear end shaping has also been opened up to not follow the rear wheel so closely and a smaller web at the seatcluster.
The old Time Warp already had fully-internal cable routing and a sleek front end. But now without brakes to hide in the fork crown and relaxed UCI profile limitations, the new Time Warp TT Disc gets an even more tidy front end. The dramatically hourglass-shaped headtube looks smoother than the old shrouded design, and there’s a cleaner transition from the new fork to the downtube that now sits further away from the turbulence of the front wheel.
Bahrain Victorious describes the new TT bike as giving them a racing edge in a few places they didn’t expect, namely better disc braking so riders can push harder into the corners, bigger tire clearances for better grip & lower rolling resistance, and overall improved ride comfort to stay aero longer.
The new time trial bike does get slightly bigger tire clearance for 28mm tires (up from 25s). But aerodynamics still dictate the TT-specific design, so Merida didn’t see the need for the 30mm room of their aero road racer.
They call the new Time Warp TT the 4th generation of the Merida time trial racing platform, now made with a lightweight CF5 nano matrix carbon blend using Anti Wrinkle System mold inserts for careful carbon placement and quality control. Merida says it maintains the same 1100g weight claim of the previous rim brake bike too.
On top of a modular fit with a Vision-made aero basebar and internal routing, the new Time Warp TT now gets a standard internal headset block to prevent damage to cabling, and appears to only be compatible with electronic shift drivetrains.
The updated time trial bike uses a pressfit PF86 bottom bracket like most other recent Merida road bikes, a proprietary aero seatpost with a flip-flop 0/15mm setback head, built-in S-Flex seatpost flex for rider comfort, and a hidden wedge-style seatpost clamp.
The long-awaited shift to flat mount disc brakes for the new Time Warp TT now gets standard 12mm thru-axles – with 140 or 160mm rotors up front and 140mm only in the back. Plus, it gets those little fork flaps that promise to smooth airflow coming off the hubs & axles, and includes a removable QR axle lever with built-in 4 & 6mm hexes to tighten bolts on the go.
Merida Time Warp TT – Options & availability
Officially, the new disc brake Merida Time Warp TT has been unveiled without any mention of pricing or availability. But we do know that three sizes of the new time trial bike will be offered (S-L) all with a 72° headtube, 76° seattube & 415mm chainstays.
For now the bike is only being listed as a 2022 Frame Kit composed of the 4th generation Time Warp TT frame & fork, headset, seatpost, post clamp, axles & a Merida-branded Vision Metron TT aero basebar (extensions sold separately.)
Merida shows both an all-black frameset and a Bahrain Victori0us replica Team paint job. For now, no complete bike builds are expected this season, although they may come once scarce groupsets & components before more readily available.
In the meantime, Bahrain Victorious is out on the Pro Tour racing the new Merida Time Warp TT bikes built up with the latest Dura-Ace Di2 12sp drivetrains, super light tubeless Vision disc wheels & aerobars, and light Continental GP 5000 S tubeless tires.